Skip to main content

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Published: 5/21/2024

CMS Cybersecurity Integration Center (CCIC) Purple Team Engagements

by PenTesting Team

Understanding Purple Team Engagements in Cybersecurity at CMS

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, organizations continuously seek effective methods to bolster their defenses against potential threats. One such method gaining traction is the concept of Purple Team engagements. This blog post aims to provide a high-level understanding of what a Purple Team is, the teams involved, and the overarching purpose of these engagements, specifically within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

What is a Purple Team?

A Purple Team is a collaborative effort in cybersecurity that combines the strengths of both the Red Team and the Blue Team. The Red Team is responsible for simulating attacks and testing the organization's defenses, while the Blue Team focuses on defending against these attacks and protecting the organization's assets. The Purple Team bridges the gap between these two by fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing to enhance the overall security posture.

Teams Involved in a Purple Team Engagement

  1. Red Team: These are the offensive security experts who simulate real-world attacks to test the effectiveness of the organization's security measures. They use various techniques to mimic potential threats, uncover vulnerabilities, and challenge the defenses in place.
  2. Blue Team: These are the defensive security professionals who monitor, detect, and respond to security incidents. Their primary goal is to safeguard the organization's data, systems, and networks by identifying and mitigating threats.
  3. Purple Team: This team is not a separate entity but rather a collaborative function that involves members from both the Red and Blue Teams. The Purple Team ensures that both teams work together, sharing insights and strategies to improve the organization's security defenses.

Purpose and Goals of Purple Team Engagements

The primary purpose of Purple Team engagements is to enhance the organization's security by fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. Here are some key goals:

  1. Improved Communication: By working together, Red and Blue Teams can communicate more effectively, ensuring that both sides understand each other's tactics, techniques, and procedures.
  2. Enhanced Security Posture: The collaboration between the teams leads to the identification and remediation of vulnerabilities more efficiently, strengthening the organization's overall security.
  3. Knowledge Sharing: Red and Blue Teams can learn from each other, sharing best practices, tools, and methodologies to better understand the evolving threat landscape.
  4. Real-World Preparedness: Purple Team engagements simulate real-world attack scenarios, allowing the organization to test and refine its incident response plans and strategies.

Purple Team engagements represent a strategic approach to cybersecurity that emphasizes collaboration between offensive and defensive security teams. By combining their efforts, organizations like CMS can achieve a more robust and resilient security posture, better prepared to face the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats. Embracing the Purple Team concept is a step forward in creating a proactive and unified defense strategy.

By adopting Purple Team engagements, CMS can ensure the protection of sensitive data and systems, ultimately safeguarding the health and financial information of millions of Americans.






About the publisher:

Penetration Testing (PenTesting) helps teams identify potential weaknesses in their system by mimicking real cyber attacks. Our team can help you schedule your PenTest and take action on the results to strengthen your system’s security posture.